Saturday, April 20, 2013

What happened to the 4th Amendment?

For the past few days as I watched events unfold in Boston, my mind was a jumble of thoughts. I watched as innocent people suffered at the hands of terrorists. I watched as Americans tried to rally against those terrorist who would make us afraid to leave our homes and to gather in mass to follow American traditions.

As time passed, I watched the news and tried to to pick real facts out of a maze of distortions cast by the media and the police, themselves. I cast no blame for that misinformation because I know some was done by accident and some for good intentions. I suspect it might be a long time before we have all the true facts of the story, and it's for that reason I tread lightly.

I spent my life trying to understand the how and why of all things. In this search I have seen a lot of rights and wrongs. I have come to the conclusion that the greatest question we can ask is, what is right? There are many perceptions of right and wrong, of moral and immoral. Sometimes the path to enlightenment lies in the questions themselves. So let's ask some questions.

Who is correct, the political left or right? I think both sides are correct, but it's in the solutions where the differences lie. Not long after the Occupy Wall Street event, I spent all night talking to both organizers and participants. I found them to be greatly divided on solutions, in part, because we all think differently. Part of the reason for their differences was that some of the organizers were out for power and money, while participants were average citizens wanting a voice.

I find the same problems with the Tea Party movement. They all mostly agree on the problems, but the solutions differ. There is also the problem of those using the movement for power and money. It is because of those influences that both movements seem to have fallen apart. We love to use the term “organic” when it comes to political movements. That means it's pure of heart and from the people, not some powerful organization. No movement can stay organic for an extended period of time.
What are the common problems found by both Occupy and the Tea Party? The answer is simple, government, and it's association with corporations and other supposed free market entities. Even though they see the same problem, their perceptions of the problem differs greatly. I think in the end, both sides want plenty of government, but desire it to operate the way that best suits their world view.

Which side is correct? The answer is simple, neither. There is the old saying that power corrupts. That will forever hold true. The only way to rein in that corruption is to reduce power. The only way to reduce power is to operate with less government. The founders designed a formula where the country could operate on the edge of anarchy. The least government, with less corruption.

This would be a good time to explain how prohibition on anything only breeds corruption. Because of the war on drugs, we have created the basis for a police state. But I don't want to talk about prohibition, I want to talk about terrorism. The object of terrorism is to create terror so that people can be manipulated by fear. Politicians use fear tactics to get certain laws passed. Others do it to push their ideological agenda.

There is good evidence that suggest the Boston bombing was done in the name of religion. Islamic terrorism is worldwide and a serious problem. I watch politicians standing in the bright glare of television lights declaring they are defeating the terrorists

Who is really winning the war on terrorism? The terrorist have won, hands down. I didn't believe that until I watched the events unfold in Boston Mass. I watched the police shut down a city of several million people. They told people to stay in their homes as hundreds or thousands of police, government agents, and military roamed the streets in search of a 19 year old teenager. Yes, he was heavily armed and dangerous, but don't all cities have these types of individuals? I watched as the police participated in running gun fights, speeding car chases with guns a-blazing. I saw a city terrorized, but not by the 19 year old terrorist, but by the police and the media.

The people of Boston huddled in their homes, afraid to venture out in their yards. I heard police admit to searching every house for several blocks, The police refused to trust the good citizens of Boston and assumed they were all assisting the terrorist. Why were military police on the streets of Boston? Where was habius corpus? Had martial law been declared? Where was the 4th Amendment?

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Was Boston a sign of the future for this country? There will be more terrorism. There will always be fanatics. Do we want to live in a police state that cannot guarantee terrorism will cease to exist? When Bush passed the Patriot Act, that gave government expanded powers, the left and some on the right screamed in anger. When President Obama made the Patriot Act, permanent, too many were silent. Our government has given itself the right to suspend the 4th Amendment whenever they utter the word terrorism.

Now I ask the biggest question of them all. Do you want to live in a country that might be a little dangerous, but where you have all your civil liberties and protections intact? Or do you want to live in a police state so that you feel safe?

We will all answer those questions by our actions, whether they be in the polling booth or by joining a political movement such as Occupy Wall Street or the Tea Party. I only ask that you think hard about how you answer those questions, because my freedoms and those of our children will be effected.

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